Sweet Sarah who is expecting a BOY asked about must have baby registry items.
Well, my experience may be slightly different because I had two, but I'm sure that a lot of the items would translate well for anyone.
Items that I couldn't have lived without ...
Some sort of baby chair/bouncer seat. Not only is this a good spot for napping when they are little, it provides a safe space where they can sit and look at toys around them, and you can use it to sit and feed them when they are starting rice cereal, solid foods, etc, but can't sit in a high chair. We had a Boppy brand and one that was Fisher Price papasan style that we borrowed from a friend. I liked them both.
Swing. I know that some Pediatrician's are against the swing, but there were some days that this was the only thing that made my babies happy. We had the Fisher Price papasan style ... both a new one and one that we borrowed. Loved, loved, loved them both.
Dr. Brown's Formula Mixer Pitcher. This rocked. I nursed/pumped for eight months, but we also had to supplement with formula. Since I had two, this pitcher came in handy because I could make up a larger quantity, the mixer really took care of any clumps, and then the formula was in the fridge, ready to go. We used all Dr. Brown's bottles and had good success with them so I never tried any others.
Medela Breast Pump. It ain't a pretty sight, but if you need to pump, Medela's are the best and you can find the hospital grade models easily too.
Halo Sleep Sacks. My daughters still sleep in a sleep sack. Yes, they do go up to an XL that goes up to 36 pounds so I figure that we still have a little more time for these. They liked being swaddled when they were small, but once they got too big for the swaddle blanket, they would never keep a blanket on them and I was always freaked out about suffocation. This way, they stay safe and comfortable at the same time.
BOB stroller. I can't say enough good things about this stroller. We bought it when Maddy and Libby were 6 months old so I never used it with the car seat adaptor. It's good in neighborhoods with lots of curbs and for long runs, too.
Snap & Go stroller. I loved this when the girls were little and still in infant car seats. Like the names says, you could just snap them in and go.
Cloth Diapers. While I didn't do cloth diapers for little bums, we used cloth diapers for burp cloths, to clean up spills, and Maddy and Libby actually sleep with one of their cloth diapers as a blankie each night. I actually prefer the larger, thinner ones over the thick ones. They have adorable lovies, but what they always want is their blankie. You can also tie it around their shoulders and play superbaby, or around their head and play baby with a do'rag!
Sound machine. We didn't use anything fancy, but actually a clock radio of Hubby's that has a "wind" setting on it. It definitely helped to mask noises during nap time and night time.
Board books. Books have been a favorite of Maddy and Libby for as long as I can remember. We made reading stories to them part of our nap and nighttime rituals. Board books are great because they will take more abuse (chewing, drool, etc) than the regular books.
If you want to make your own baby food, and as tempting as the Williams-Sonoma model may be, all you need is a stick immersion blender and silicone ice cube trays. Then just visit wholesome baby food and you'll be all set.
Good car seats. We had Graco's as infants and now we have Britax. Love the Britax.
Baby Jail. Ok, this may not be politically correct, but once Maddy and Libby were mobile (crawling), this thing saved me. I was working from home at the time and it was the only way that I could keep an eye on them while I tried to do a little work. It's huge and if you can get over looking at primary colors all day, then it can save your life!
We've had a few things that were trial and error. I thought I had to have Baby Bjorns, but I really didn't use them all that much, but I had friends wore their babies all the time. Also the Bumbo seat was kind of a bust for us. They seemed to be too small/too unsteady at first and then the next thing I knew, they had outgrown it. However, other people that I know loved theirs. Same for the Diaper Genie. We use a Diaper Champ that just uses grocery store bags and it seems to be so much easier than using something that requires a special refill.
Other must haves that I think were vital to our sanity:
A schedule for meals/sleeping and sticking to it. If it was nap time, then I was at home ... not out trying to get my babies to sleep in a stroller. Not judging those Mom's that can do this, but a schedule was sacred at our house.
A non-quiet house. Huh, you ask. I vacuumed when they slept, flushed the toilet, dogs barked, phones rang, music was on and everyone turned out OK. Granted, I didn't have a party while they slept, but they got used to household noises and now can typically sleep through one another waking up, dogs barking, storms, etc.
Please feel free to leave any more "must have" baby items in the comments and we can all share ideas. I can remember doing our baby registry over several visits because I would just get overwhelmed with all of the stuff. Plus the fluorescent lighting and concrete floors in most of those stores are no fun!